Originally posted by 49erMike:
GNielson, I think it boils down to it being my opinion. Based on your theory every 6 ft, 4.4 running cb, can be coached up. I disagree. I hope he turns out to be a solid #2 cb for us, but I'm not holding my breath.
Mike, it's not just his physical numbers. I'm just going by his play last year. His stunningly bad performance in the Super Bowl really overshadowed what was a very good season-long performance as corner that only started to break down towards the end. Up until week 16, Pro Football Focus had him rated at +9.5 which was close to the top of all corners. Here's what PFF wrote about him before he collapsed:
"Still, it's not all bad. While some guys disappointed, others impressed, and none more so than the 49ers' left cornerback in their nickel package, Chris Culliver. He gave up a first down or touchdown on only 3.45% of his snaps in coverage, a staggeringly low amount when you consider that the next lowest score is that of Leon Hall, with 3.75%."
Look, I think he's a knucklehead and I think he completely fell apart at the end of the season and in the post season. But, I think his performance up to that point for the vast majority of the season was real good. In fact, it was so good that if he can just learn to find the ball in the air, he could become a corner who is considered elite. I don't really care about his opinions. As long as he's not a violent criminal, I think he has the right to be an a-hole. And, he does seem to show some contrition over his offensive comments about gay people. But, as far as being a corner for the Niners in the NFL, it's WAY too early to write him off. He's still getting better. And, I think playing the nickle corner all season long probably wore him down. From what I understand about the Niners coaching staff, that probably won't happen again. He's very fast, very quick, hits hard and has shown the ability to stay close with very fast receivers. I don't think he's reached his potential yet. In fact, my guess is that they'll work on that problem he has finding the ball in the off season and he'll end up playing as one of the league's best corners this next season.